18 ideas for starting a business at home: Inspiring suggestions for start-ups
For many in the modern day workforce, a traditional 9-5 working day, a career for life, and a single employer might all seem a little old fashioned as the digital age has supplied more flexible ways of working. Especially in the last year. Which is why more and more people are looking at starting a business from home.
We've assembled some of the most flexible small business ideas that supply great startup opportunities for the remote worker.
But before you get started, there are a couple of things to consider when starting a business.
Is it right for you?
Starting a business can be very exciting and good fun. Being in charge of how you make your own living gives you a degree of independence. What's more, there's no one to answer to beyond your bank balance.
You can also scale your business according to the demand of your market. You might decide to take on staff, or remain solo. Either way, you're in charge of the shape you'd like your business to take, which is, of course, part of the appeal of starting your own business.
Despite the benefits of starting your own business, being your own boss is not without its challenges. Learning how to stay motivated - particularly during demanding or very quiet times - can be especially tricky. Working out how to avoid distractions when working from home can present a whole new set of challenges as well.
But if you're happy drawing on your own resources, then going solo and setting up a small business from home can present great opportunities for creativity and developing new skills.
What makes a good idea for starting a business?
There are hundreds of hardworking home businesses that inspire independence and generate a good income for those that run them.
When starting a business from home, the idea doesn't have to be entirely original either – after all, there are plenty of pet groomers, jewellery makers, cleaners and gardeners who pursue their line of work in spite of the fact that others in their field already exist. However, you'll need to do some market research before committing to a business direction.
Successful small business ideas from home
If you're looking for some successful small business ideas then there is plenty of inspiration out there, including these small business heroes:
Red Chilli Bikes - a custom bike build service started by David Darby, a former publishing executive.
Mumlin - supplier of stylish and practical baby muslins.
Jane Means - expert ribbon and gift-wrapping courses.
Still stuck for small business inspiration? Here are 18 superb ideas for starting a business
If you're looking for small online business ideas, then take a look at our top small business inspiration starters below.
- 1. Childminding: You'll need experience, training and licensing for this, plus you'll need to be on top of all the safeguarding legislation.
- 2. Data entry: Many companies outsource data entry work to home-based workers. This business idea has the added benefit of easily fitting around other daily demands like childcare.
- 3. Contract customer services: Some companies outsource their customer service operations to home-based contractors, which is handy for fitting around your lifestyle.
- 4. Freelancing: If you have a professional skill such as copywriting, editing, proofreading, bookkeeping or graphic design, the chances are you can set up as a freelancer.
- 5. Bakery: If you've got some skills in the kitchen then you could set up a small baking business to sell your wares. Occasion cakes, cookies or party favours all go down a storm - especially if you're offering something niche.
- 6. Tutoring: If you have specialist knowledge then you can help others to benefit from it.
- 7. Coaching: If you have solid experience in a particular field you might be able to coach others to become experts too.
- 8. Cleaning: Whether it's for homes, cars or offices, if you have an eye for detail then there are plenty who need your skills if you're looking at starting a cleaning business.
- 9. Gardening: If you love the great outdoors, have some solid plant knowledge and are good at physical work then gardening could be for you.
- 10. Hairdressing: Obviously training is an important requirement but hairdressing is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to fit working around busy lives.
- 11. Pet sitting: If you're an animal lover then you are indispensable to people who want close company for their pets when they are working or travelling.
- 12. Removals company: Moving house is stressful and time-consuming, which is why removal companies are always in high-demand. If you have a van and a drivers licence, you're good to go.
- 13. Crafting: If you're a keen crafter, you could consider selling your creations at markets and fairs or on sites like Etsy and Big Cartel.
- 14. Design: Perhaps you have design skills that you've yet to draw upon, or you'd like to apply them to an area like garden design. Basic training in your field will help you get started.
- 15. Upcycling: Marry your creative, practical and selling skills by enhancing once-loved items and selling them on.
- 16. Clothing line: If you have a keen eye for fashion trends or original designs, starting your own clothing line could be a winner. You can sell these on sites like Depop.
- 17. Self-published writer: With e-books taking the internet by storm, now would be a good time to write your novel or how-to-guide and get selling on Amazon or Kindle.
- 18. Painter/Decorator: To new and old homeowners, painting and decorating is an essential service. And one that will always be needed.
Challenges and risks of starting a business from home
Whatever idea you decide to startup with, make sure you're covered from business risk. Take a look at our small business insurance options to find out more.